Koi here; off to San Diego tomorrow to be traumatized by large crowds.

Still apologizing from the sizable detour I took there for a while, but things are back on track with the print version of the first book. Wyvern, Sol, and Parthenos all ended up making guest appearances in a limited comic – the catalog for the “Familiar Spirits” art exhibition. This will be available online in some form after it is available at the shop, which will be after I return from Comic Con. Why does everything take so long? Because it does. That’s your answer. Please forgive us. Trust me that I would love to spend less time at doctors’ offices, hospitals, funerals, and the really dull parts of my day job.

Also a tiny apology for our down time while our web master had to free us from the yoke of oppressive Russki hackers. That was dumb. We did not lose any data, though, so go Tony!

Take care.

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While you’re waiting…

Here is a picture of Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Onzillora and her genadri best friend, Bacon, dancing.

argument is invalid

Onzi & Bacon

I will get more of “Roots in Hell” up soon, I promise; kinda got distracted with an epic fine art show, the last round of revisions for the printing of “Honor & Sacrifice”, and the annual excursions to both Sakura Con and the HP Lovecraft Film Festival.

This image is by Jayelle Anderson, and you can let her know you enjoyed it over at her Deviant Art site!

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New Short Fiction

Hey guys. I’m pretty weary of waiting to give you all a release date for the hard copy book, too. So I started writing a short set a bit over four years prior to the events of “Honor & Sacrifice”. If you read it before reading “H&S” it won’t necessarily damage the story for you. It does however move straight to the action with very little explanation, as it is from the point of view of a full-blooded, homeworld-borne kaffa – Valdieren Karshimziel and not through the eyes of someone who is unfamiliar with how things work in the empire and/or combat.

Karshi – “Val” to his co-workers – is a young Archon officer determined to win his call sign, even if it means volunteering on a high-risk, morally questionable operation with a team of hardened veterans.

Roots in Hell, part one – Note that this was a good draft but not a perfect one. Since I have to send my files to someone else to convert for me until I fix one of the other computers at the Ranch, it’s going to be a little flawed for a while. Don’t complain too much, OK, this is free after all. :)

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The final light year

Hand-wringing aside, “Honor and Sacrifice” (or “Tribes of Heaven, Book 1″ as some of you have come to call it) is off getting a nit-pick by one last editor before it goes to layout to become a more official book.

Available formats will include printed paper and a version specific to e-readers. Supporters, of course (and you know who you are) will have their support honored on the official release date, as per original agreement (i.e., free art or free copy of the book depending on specific options).

Unfortunately, the painting intended for the cover “went missing”, and rather than digitally repair the existing photograph for that purpose (thereby increasing the value of the “missing” work), I’m coming up with something entirely new.

There remains a cash reward for the return of the original painting:

Missing Artwork & Supplies, Cash Reward, Olympia WA

And for those curious, tentative release date is April 3, 2012. Apologies for the delays; blame unscrupulous rogues and vandals of the normally lovely Olympia WA.

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Reader questions and feedback.

Hi folks! Thanks for tuning in.

Figured I’d answer a couple of these emailed questions here in case other readers had similar issues.

Q: Just double checking here to see if I got this correct. The current queen is Marsura, yes? Has she been queen for a while? Who came before her?

A: Marsura is the current queen; she took office comparatively young during Third Mior (so she’s been on the throne over three decades – not long in terms of a kaffir life span but longer than Sol has been alive). She succeeded Aphoisia, who was extremely popular with civilians and military within the Archon empire. The careful reader has probably noted that in spite of her popularity, Aphoisia failed to keep Archos out of a long conflict with the Ilu, whereas the Accord was signed rapidly on Marsura’s watch, briefly elevating her popularity among civilians. Over the ensuing years, she slashed military spending including cutting entire units, apparently to further appease her morally offended public, and cutting benefits to veterans living off the home world in a very tricky move approved by a home world-majority High Council, deeply to the slight of Holtiin (Archos’ “sister planet” should have more Council representation, but that’s another story).

Q: I’ve read the glossary entry on staging, but I’m still not 100% clear on the functions of the process. I understand that the first stage(s?) are temporary or at least low-impact in terms of negative side effects, but the higher-level side effects seem traumatic! What are the benefits, aside from apparent “eternal youth”? Can pure humans be staged the same as kaffir?

A: Depends on how one defines “benefits”. The third and fourth stages hone the body into a better killing machine – faster, stronger, tougher, quicker thinking; if you game, think of it as a massive across the board stat buff for your character. In kaffir, haki, and saurka with functional pulse organs, a strong boost occurs; staging can shift a kaffir’s rating from “safe” to “HTC” levels, ergo the third stage is not available as an option to everyone who might want to take the risk of losing fertility for extended youth. With the addition of the ESDD (usually found only in the black collars of Star Assault) and training, a fourth stage soldier may decide (or be assigned) to activate a pulse “loop cycle” which ramps up over a short period to turn the individual and any equipment he carries essentially into a devastating chain reaction (something like a miniature hydrogen bomb). If an SA member is allowed to retire or should he join the Haarnsvaar, his ESDD collar is removed. The general public within the empire are unaware of this side of Star Assault, although as mentioned during Sol’s admission to the unit, urban legends do spread near the air defense bases.

As for the final part of the question, regarding pure humans: experimentation has been performed; later stories may answer this better for you. ;)


A: That’ll get fixed before the print version! A new editor came onto the project this past weekend.

Q: I am really sad! Why for you do that!?

A: You know, you are now the third reader to ask me that. Do you want my reasons as a writer, or the in-canon reasons in terms of the world? I am sorry, though. If it helps any, I cried like a bitch not only when I wrote it – even though I knew from day one what happened at the end – but every time I edited it. At least you enjoyed it enough to get to that part?

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More IRL meets fiction

This is a brilliant interview in its own right, but a little ways in, Neil deGrasse Tyson does actually say, “We are stardust.”

The Shandrians aboard the Sanjeera give their approval.

Link has been here the entire time but Word Press’s default system makes them invisible unless you diligently re-title them.

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Not the greatest of news.

Due to the irreparable corruption of the Embassy’s PDF authoring software, the December 15th release date for the final cut of “Honor and Sacrifice” (“HandS”) may be pushed back some. We regret any frustration or inconvenience this may cause people.

If you wish to be on the mailing list for the first hard copy release, we are still compiling that, just send Koi the best email for you. We will not be using this list for anything but an announcement regarding the paperback release; other information will continue to be announced here first.

As always, we continually welcome feedback from the readers… it would be nice if it was not as quiet here because spammers would think they had less a chance of getting their phony posts through and I would not have to kill file so much spam every day.


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Could I please have an astrum who can edit?

Hey guys. Parthenos here. I’d like to apologize for all the typos in the most recent installment. Our translator seems to have been a bit… circumstantially impaired… during the last editing spree and the secondary editor is only an inferior AI.

We’d still like to hear your reactions if you can kindly ignore the mistakes. If you feel that you need errata (that is to say, the corrected copy), just ask.

We know you’ll understand; there will always be bugs in Star Assault.

*The above is the best piece of pure Tribes fan art to date, IMO. Parth may feel differently… <3 Ann

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It’s a wrap!

Tribes of Heaven book one

Honor & Sacrifice

Well… it’s finished. At least, the serialized version has hit its inevitable conclusion. The final chapters have been sent out to all the supporters and subscribers minus two.

The complete final edit of “Honor and Sacrifice” will be available as a single PDF and then a print version after mid December 2011. If you are dying to have it right now today, please email me and we’ll work something out.

If you are/were a subscriber and feel you are missing chapters, do not hesitate to email:
ann at moritorium dot com

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Elvish Bio-tech and your Real World

For those reading the stories and saying, “But wait, everything they have is biological, yet they have computers and cell phones? How does that work?”

Here’s a start:

Bacteria & DNA Computing

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